In this episode I will be repairing my AVR ISP MKII programmer by replacing the on-board boost converter (TPS61020) and I will also upgrade the 6 pin ISP programming cable to 1m length.

I’ve always wanted to do video blogs but never had the time or motivation to do it. Recently I purchased a new power supply for my small lab and since there was no proper review of it on the internet I decided to do one myself and why not make a video out of it.To host these video blogs I’ve started a new youtube channel called VoltLog. Subscribe if you would like to see my future videos and give this one a thumbs up if you liked it.

A while ago, Francesca from Element 14 kindly contacted me to ask if I wanted to receive some products from their catalog for review. I said yes and since I already had a wishlist going on (as most electronics guys have) it was easy to pick up some products. I also considered current and future projects when picking the items and so I had 4 items:

I asked for the STM32VLDISCOVERY because I wanted to play with one of these ever since I discovered this STM32 book written by Geoffrey Brown. The book seems so nicely written and from a practical point of view seems like it will get me started and working on the STM32 in no time. I’m also working on a couple of projects right now for which the STM32 might seem like overkill but I might use it anyway just build some experience around this chip.

I asked for the ATXMEGAA3BU-XPLD because it is a nice platform all around. The MCU is the ATxmega256A3BU and you also get some analog sensors, an lcd display and lots of IO’s. Excellent for when you need to throw something together and test it on an Atmel ATXmega. The ATSAM4L-XPRO which I received in error, features Atmel’s ATSAM4LC4C Cortex-M4 MCU which is nonetheless interesting in the industry but isn’t of much use to me on it’s own without some expansion board.

The TPS54231EVM-372 and TPS5450EVM-254 from Texas Instruments were requested because I use both of these in two of my projects and I wanted to have a reference testing platform for comparison to my own implementation in layout and design. I use the TPS54231 in the new Audio Spectrum Analyzer to power the digital/LED section and I use the TPS5450 in my DIY digital power supply as the switching  pre-regulator before going into a linear reg.

More will follow on these as I am going to perform some measurements like output noise on the TPS54231EVM-372 and TPS5450EVM-254 using my entry level scope and compare the results with the ones from the datasheet.

Also if you would like to checkout more products from these manufacturers, see the Newark category pages:

xprotolab_portable_oscilloscope

Remember the Xprotolab XMEGA portable oscilloscope that I reviewed last year ? Well Gabriel Anzziani, the creator has put the project up on kickstarter:

The Xprotolab has been in development for several years, the hardware and firmware are stable. Now its time to put the device in an enclosure and add a rechargeable battery.

A case and a battery should complete the device and make it more attractive to carry in a toolbox. I know from experience, when I reviewed it. that I had to find a plastic enclosure to keep it in and powering it always required 2 extra wires from my circuit. So head-over to the kickstarter page to read more about the improvements.

July 22nd, 2012

USB A to micro USB bridge

USB to USB micro bridge

This is a little project I made recently, I call it USB A to micro USB bridge and it does what the name says: it’s just a bridge between the USB A female connector and the female micro USB. In the middle there is a DIL pin header that allows you to connect or disconnected individually the USB signals. I needed this because recently I started working on a USB project and I wanted to have an easy way to hook up a multimeter for measuring things like voltages or current passing through.

I have PCB’s from both Seeed and ITead for this little project because I wanted to compare their service and so I ordered from both of them. You can download Eagle sch and brd files in ZIP format from here.



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